Designer Appreciation Post

Creators. Designers. Innovators. These are the people we love stalk. We’re continuing our series of the designer appreciator posts with these imaginative and cleverly creative individuals and companies. We love what you do!

Tayna Madoff 

“We need to talk about your flair.” “Really? I…I have fifteen pieces of flair on…” Office Space anyone?? Well, Tayna Madoff has the answer to all your flair needs. She is the creator and designer of the Button Club, a monthly dose of vibrant art, packaging and design all hand made in San Francisco! Tayna has cleverly crafted buttons of ranging from 80s slang, animals, literary references, and even the Princess Bride. So loosen up your buttons, babe, and check out the Button Club.

Martin Feijoo

No doubt when you were a kid, you lay down in the grass and looked at the cloud, pointing out shapes to your friends. Well, Martin Feijoo took this to the next level, by illustrating the first thing he though of when he took a picture of a cloud. The results are breathtaking. You may think a little harder the next time you point out a cloud and say, it looks like a bunny, because to Feijoo it’s so much more.

Ariane Vieira

Drawn to this (pun intended) simply because of the coffee but found a fascinating approach to textile designs. Vieira makes very real designs using elements of the words she is writing about. Whether it is coffee, walls, nature, or bridge, she creates a visually stunning design. She’s also devilishly talented with fonts.

Stephen Maurice Graham

Hilarious and semi-disturbing, Graham created Men’s Grooming illustrations for GQ Magazine. From hairy chests to chapped lips all the way to problematic mustache hairs – he drew them all! And for all you gaming nerds out there, he’s also created old school renderings of the PlayStation One Console, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Tomb Raider.

How We Go A-Shoppin

It’s no surprise that we like to shop online and who gives better ideas for gifts this holiday season than Pinterest, Etsy, SFMADE, and more?! It’s like cheating, but in a good way. Here are a few highlights from some of our favorite sites where we like to go a-shoppin!

Pinterest the Biggest Thing Since Sliced Bread 

Ok, maybe not the biggest thing since sliced bread, but it’s pretty close! This social bookmarking website is a gold mine. Whether you’re a teacher, planning a wedding, athlete, artist, or even a food blogger Pinterest has something for you. We like that we can discover new, hand picked things, from people we know and love. Pins are like a giant highlighter mark or a fold in a magazine, for all the good stuff you find anywhere around the web. Another benefit, for all you anal-retentive people out there, you can organize your pins on boards, which is like a good-old fashioned binder. Essentially, Pinterest is a gigantic dream journal. Oh, and of course, FOLLOW US HERE.

This is us. Falling into the Pinterest K-Hole, willingly.  This is us. Falling into the Pinterest K-Hole, willingly.


Etsy The Site For All You Crafty People Out There

Think you’re crafty? Maybe you could sell some of your stuff online? Wait, who would buy it? The answer – someone. The saying, “there’s a seat for every ass” truly works when it comes to Etsy, the online marketplace where people around the world can connect to buy and sell unique goods. The main difference of Pinterest and Etsy is that you actually do your shopping on Etsy, whereas on Pinterest you just look, admire, and click links. However, chances are you will see “Pins” of Etsy items on Pinterest. Their three-pronged message is “Satisfied Customers. Passionate Sellers. Secure Transactions. What’s great about Etsy is that it’s a community of like-minded people are providing handmade or even vintage products that someone will love and we love that!

Glue gun, glitter AND birc-a-brack, bitches. Glue gun, glitter AND birc-a-brack, bitches.

Hyper-Local SFMADE Helps You Shop the Bay Area

Established in 2010, it’s the only organization of its kind focused on building San Francisco’s economic base by developing the local manufacturing sector. Whether you need screen printing, chocolate, or reflective, decorative, protective wraps for your bicycle, SFMADE has it for you. SFMADE is similar to Pinterest and Etsy because it brings a community together. However, it is a bit different in the fact that it is super focused on SF and manufacturers. But, if you’re from the Bay Area and design and manufacture a physical product, we suggest becoming a member! Or, even if you’re in the area you should check out the site to give you ideas on who can help you or even who you can help!

Buy local. Live worldly. Buy local. Live worldly.

Money, Money, Money…Money! How to Save it with the Mint App

Now that we’ve given you reason to spend all your money, we decided to try and save you money at the same time. The Mint App pulls all your financial accounts into one place while helping you set a budget, track your goals, and do more with your money. Though it may sound sketchy, handing over all your financial information, it’s trusted, safe, and secure. With more than 10 million users, Mint helps you set a budget and create a plan to reach your personal financial goals. You can easily track your progress online or stay up-to-date with monthly emails.

... makes the world go 'round! … makes the world go ’round!

We hope you enjoyed our shopping spree! Now, get goin’ because the holiday season is already here! 

Thoughts on the Final Episode of “Serial”

With over five million downloads, people around the world have become enraptured by the smooth voice of Sarah Koenig as she picks apart a 15-year-old murder case in Baltimore, Maryland. For those of you who don’t know, Adnan Syed was accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee on January 13, 1999. Within a year, Adnan was convicted and sentenced to 30 years to life in prison. Koenig first learned about the case a little over a year ago. Since, she has been sorting through box after box of legal documents, interviewing individuals who were close to the situation, and listening to police and trial testimonies.

Varying Opinions on “Serial”

Some of us at the office had either listened to it religiously every Thursday or recently binge listened to catch up before the final episode that aired today. We’ve made our predictions, jumped to conclusions, and changed our minds on which suspect murdered Hae Min Lee. However, it wasn’t until finishing the podcast today that we had very different opinions on “Serial” and the closure it did not give us.

There was an article written about the two types of people who listened to “Serial:” person one has this need for closure (NFC), while person two is satisfied with the good storytelling. Well, I’m person one, and I needed closure.

After finishing the podcast on my drive into work, I became a little outraged. I had spent hours listening to this woman investigate a case, a case that I would have had no idea about or really cared for. Maybe I held too tightly to, what I now realize was, a half-hearted promise at the beginning of the podcast? Alternatively, maybe it goes back to the whole left-brain, right-brain theory. I’m left-brain if you couldn’t tell. I like clear-cut, black-and-white things, bows at the ends of stories, not loosely dangling threads that have no relation to one another.

The Triumphs of “Serial”

While I brooded about the end of the case as I walked from my car to the office, I realized that, though there was little closure, I would probably listen to season two. Call me a hopeless romantic, or just an avid lover of all things trendy, I can’t help but get pulled into someone else’s world. Moreover, that is why Koenig is a magician. Though I felt like I was eavesdropping on one of the most important conversation of Adnan’s life, Koenig made it seem like I was welcome.

The great thing about this “Serial” podcast was, for me, it didn’t revolve around the television, computer, or anything else visual. It was solely her words, and the words of others, that kept me coming back for more. I’m an avid reader of books (mostly fiction), and it was refreshing to not be overly stimulated by CGI and special effects. With books, you can get lost in the story and even let your imagination wander as you create the characters the author brings to life on the page. Moreover, while this wasn’t a non-fiction story, I was still able to combine my logical and somewhat critical mind with the ever-so-small right side of my brain.

Koenig’s “Serial” podcast has changed the game and opened the doors for other storytellers out there. Now, we want to hear what your thoughts were on this Internet sensation. Did you love it? Hate it? Was there enough closure for you? Are you still plotting out the details? Do you think there will be a follow-up to Adnan’s story? There are a thousand and one more questions I could write about “Serial,” but instead I will leave you with this, I hate to love uncertainty.

Oliver + Sons Partners with Social Buzz Pros for Workshop Series

Here’s the new word, we’ve partnered with Social Buzz Pros to hold workshops and classes throughout the Baltimore-Washington area this Spring at Betamore and UberOffices (Bethesda) co-working spaces!

Calling all clients, customers, entrepreneurs, business owners, startups, and students of online marketing and social media – we have the 4-1-1. Come get the inside information to the world of the Internet. Classes will cover everything from social media management to metric analysis. Kick back, relax, and stop worrying about your marketing strategy, because this new partnership has the solutions. Register now at Eventbrite or MeetUp!

From our joint press release:

“Since social media is common in our private lives, businesses are often baffled and surprised by the failure of their efforts online. The true is that there is an enormous difference in personal posting and creating an engaging professional Internet presence. We want to provide the hacks and secrets that would otherwise be cost prohibitive to entrepreneurs,” said Sinta Jimenez, CEO and Founder of Social Buzz Pros.

The workshops aim to arm participants with the tools to better leverage the web to grow their businesses, including tactical guidance on how to audit their web presence to powerfully revamp and invigorate a lackluster strategy or brand. The workshops will give participants concrete, actionable advice on how to double social media followers, launch and manage successful online advertising campaigns, improve e-mail newsletter campaigns, improve engagement, viral reach and even analyze metrics.

“We developed these workshops to address a great need in the community to better understand and leverage online marketing best practices. The landscape has changed, and consumers are demanding more, especially with innovations in technology and information sharing. Consumers are accustomed to quality, instant information at their fingertips. Your success can be weighed significantly on if you can reach and provide consumers with content that your competitor has not,” said Attiya Abdulghany, Founder and CEO of Oliver + Sons.

View our official press release here!

We hope to see you in one of our classes. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!